The annual lettuce plant Lactuca sativa belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is generally farmed for its leaves, though occasionally the stem and seeds are also gathered. Salads are the most typical dish that uses lettuce, yet it can also be found in other dishes like soups, sandwiches, and wraps. It can also be grilled. One kind of lettuce, celtuce, sometimes known as asparagus lettuce, yields stems that can be eaten both fresh and cooked. It has been used by humans for millennia as a leafy green, but it has also acquired religious and therapeutic value. Previously, the lettuce market was dominated by Europe and North America, but by the turn of the 20th century, lettuce consumption had spread globally. Worldwide production of lettuce and chicory reached 27 million tonnes in 2017, with China accounting for 56% of that amount.
Ancient Egyptians were the first to cultivate lettuce, turning it from a plant whose seeds were used to make oil into a significant food crop grown for its succulent leaves and oil-rich seeds. The Greeks and Romans were the first to domesticate lettuce, and they gave it the Latin name lactuca, from which we get the term lettuce. By the year 50 AD, numerous lettuce varieties had been identified, and they were frequently mentioned in medieval herbals and other works of literature. In Europe, a number of varieties were created between the 16th and 18th centuries, and by the middle of the 18th century, cultivars that are still found in contemporary gardens had been documented.
As a leafy vegetable, lettuce, an annual or biennial plant that is native to temperate areas, is the most often used form. It is frequently consumed cold and raw in salads, hamburgers, tacos, and other foods in Western nations. In certain cultures, like China, utilizing the stem when preparing lettuce is just as crucial as using the leaf.
When a lettuce plant blooms, the stalk lengthens and branches (developing in a rosette pattern), producing several, smaller flower heads that resemble dandelions. Bolting is the term for this. When lettuce is grown for human consumption, it is picked just as it is about to bloom.
The Lepidoptera species whose larvae eat lettuce are listed below.
This vegetable is abundantly available and well-liked all throughout the world. Supermarkets may carry it year-round. There are a plethora of options available. The iceberg used to dominate the options, but other types are gradually displacing it. While imported lettuce is frequently grown in Europe, the majority of indigenous cultivars of lettuce are grown in California.
The lettuce we know today first appeared as a weed in the Mediterranean region. Due to its long history of use—more than 4500 years—lettuce has undoubtedly left its imprint on history, from Egyptian tomb paintings to the discovery of multiple lettuce varieties by various Greek scholars. Since Christopher Columbus introduced the plant to the new land, lettuce has been grown throughout the United States.
Vitamin K, which helps to develop strong bones, is found in lettuce. Consume sufficient amounts of vitamin K to lower your risk of developing a bone fracture.
Hydration Over 95% of uncooked lettuce is water. Eating lettuce thereby moisturizes the body. While drinking fluids is important, eating foods that contain water can also help you stay hydrated.
A number of lettuce extracts have also been demonstrated to improve sleep. It is uncertain whether lettuce in its natural state can have a comparable effect until more research is done.
Making use of and preserving:
Your lettuce will remain crisp and fresh if there is sufficient airflow and a small amount of moisture. The simplest (and most efficient) method for doing this is to place the greens on top of a layer of paper towels in a sturdy glass or plastic container. Then chill after adding a complementing lid.
Salads, keto burgers, smoothies, and other foods all contain lettuce.
The sunflower family includes lettuce. The typical American consumes 30 pounds of lettuce annually. California produces the majority of the lettuce marketed in the US. Darker-colored lettuce leaves contain more vitamins and minerals than lighter-colored ones do.
The nutritional value of lettuce varies depending on the kind. Nearly all lettuces have large levels of vitamin A, iron, and vitamin C in trace amounts.
There are 10 calories in a cup of finely chopped iceberg lettuce.
Each serving contains one gramme of protein, zero grams of fat, two grams of carbohydrates, one gramme of fiber, and one gramme of sugar.